Bodhin Kjolhede is the Abbot and Director of the Rochester Zen Center. Prior to coming to the Center in 1970, he received a B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan. He was ordained as a Buddhist priest in 1976 and went on to spend several years traveling extensively with the Center’s founder, Roshi Philip Kapleau, and working closely with him on three of his books.
After completing twelve years of koan training under Roshi Kapleau, Roshi Kjolhede spent a year on pilgrimage through Japan, China, India, Tibet, and Taiwan. In 1986 he was installed by Roshi Kapleau as his Dharma successor and, the following year, Abbot of the Center. Since then he has conducted hundreds of meditation retreats, most of seven days, in the United States, Sweden, Germany, and Mexico. He has published numerous articles and travels widely to participate in Buddhist teachers’ conferences. He now devotes most of his time to teaching at the Rochester Zen Center and conducting retreats at Chapin Mill, its country retreat center, and playing tennis when he can.
In his more than 30 years of teaching, Roshi Kjolhede has sanctioned five of his students as Zen teachers; they now lead Zen centers in Mexico, Sweden and Finland, Germany, and New Zealand.